Don’t let the summer creep up on you

By Jacalyn S Burke,

It’s that time of the year. Spring break is behind us and the summer looms ahead. For some it’s a time of excitement, of planning ahead for summer camps and family vacations but for others it can spell anxiety as a fixed monthly income might suddenly come to an end for months at a time, or even that long-term employment will be terminated.

If you employ a nanny have you discussed your childcare plans with your nanny?
Nannies have you discussed your employer’s needs over the summer?

It’s important to understand the financial implications of a changed schedule and duties and for some even temporary relocation to a summer lodging.

A summer camp involves additional costs for any family and if you employ a nanny you will need to factor in her wages too. If there will be a cut in her income and you expect her to return to a normal schedule in the fall you should at least consider offering her a retainer while you are away even if you do not require her services during that time.

An alternative of course could be to help her source a temporary job with some of your peers who might need additional cover in the summer. All too often an employee is the last to know of last minute changes and this type of disruption in her income can spell financial ruin. If your nanny is on the books she may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits during the time you are away. Now is the time to begin that process. She will need to file her claim early with the view that she will resume employment again with you in the fall.

Nannies be proactive in the discussion. This is a 50/50 venture. Your financial security is ultimately your concern – so take steps now to see what benefits you are eligible for. If you are paid off the books and are viewed as a freelance worker it is up to you to begin sourcing an alternative source of income while your employers are away in the summer. If you are employed full-time you are entitled to a paid vacation. This should be discussed with your employers now.

There are ways to accommodate your employer’s seasonal needs. These include:

  • requesting a paid vacation
  • requesting a new temporary schedule over the summer
  • requesting a retainer to secure your employment in the fall
  • requesting help in sourcing local work amongst your employer’s peer group
  • applying for temporary unemployment assistance during the summer
New York State (and other States) offers protection to all domestic workers and it is not too late to find out what that protection includes. Here are some helpful sites:
Any tips for seasonal workers?